The genealogy tools I have used




Initially I used hand drawn trees, but very quickly switched to a card index which kept me going for a while, after all when I started personal computers were not invented, never mind an affordable household item. After a while when the number of people in my card index had passed 300, was becoming too much to manage manually, and I had acquired a DOS based computer with a dot matrix printer, I got my first family tree program. The table below lists the tools I have used, and in some cases I am still using.

Tool Usage Comments
Family History System To store the data by Philip Brown. Soon after that I lost patience with redrawing the trees every time so I wrote a DOS 'C' program to produce printed trees. I continued to use this set up for a number of years. A few years ago I decided the time had come to stop using DOS programs and switch Windows.
Brother's Keeper To store the data This was because it made a reasonable (but not perfect) attempt to import my data on 700+ relatives (which I was not prepared to retype), and was a big improvement in terms of ease of use, because of the Windows interface
Family Historian To store the data and do all reporting This handles pictures well, produces nice trees and has a powerful query interface to get at the data, which as the database gets bigger is vital. Adding pictures to the trees makes a huge difference particularly in sharing information with my closer relatives.
Family Historian User Group (FHUG) Knowledge sharing & Tools I have used FHUG for learning how to use Family Historian and for addons such as custom queries
GedHTree Web site construction You can't hand craft a web site from a database of 4,500+ people, not all of whom are displayed here
Microsoft Excel data acquisition and collation Since adopting the bulk data approach (in particular to the Ladbury tree), I have needed to acquire and to keep track of large amounts of data typically from web sources. Usually this involves cutting and pasting into Excel then using macros written in VBA to clean up the acquired data.
Microsoft Access data collation I have used access to collate data, for example to find out what data is has been added since I last acquired the data. I am also trying to use it to cross reference between data sources
Microsoft OneNote data collection I have used OneNote to hold working data, typically to hold a pasted copy of a web page until I get around to processing it.

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